The longing to for a complete escape.
The longing to turn a momentary partial escape into an eternal infinite one.
The panic created by the need to not lose this chance at full escape.
But why does the Hurt close in when you relax a little?
Why should a respite make the broken rusted twisted add odd angles protruding interior collapse worse?
Two glasses of wine reveals more fully one’s interior landscape?
And experience teaches that four or five obscure the landscape?
Perhaps that, compounded by the aforementioned panic, explodes the moment on and on. And this underlies the desperate, rear-whipping pony race.
Another factor: You are allowed to not work and not worry about your place in the in and any possible responsibility for the world when you are drinking.
These little personal victories.
Stop after two glasses of restaurant wine.
Walk through the parky cultural center to your computer in a kitchen facing an overgreen yard overrun by the fat three-fingered leaves of a fig tree whose figs are never quite ripe enough to eat.
And write a little while drinking alcohol free wine and eating up your sister-in-law’s store of frozen macadamia nuts.
In the understanding that everyone’s getting off cheap.
And that you’re not so much a writer as a tourist, and your blog, now ten years old, is not so much for general consumption as for you to post your moments in like you would in a scrap book that interests only you.
You zoned out.
The dark haired pale faced waitress said she couldn’t see why there’d be a problem with a bunless bluecheeseburger with extra tomato, lettuce, and onion.
But you did not receive any extra tomato, lettuce, or onion.
Still, there was enough, factoring in all the ketchup and the oil (served as an appetizer with strips of bread you did not touch, and poured over burger and lettuce [two three-inch strips of romaine] and tomato [two slices of roma] [the red onion was cut up and placed in a littler ceramic cup]), and of course the two glasses of wine, served with an overcast harbor and the ships from all over the world, seeking safe landing on a Sunday, the day of rest.
You’re single and cruising towards your mid-forties.
No one cares what you do, if you live or die, if you come or go.
Two India-Indian men, the one in a soft, smooth-flowing gray suit, the other in jeans and a polo shirt; the former a little taller, with full movie-stair hair and sunglasses and jaw and shoulders square; the other shorter, less movie-star, both with small paunches. They stand on the gravel between the sharp rocks that line the water and the defunct railway tracks with benches where trains used to go. They taller has two small children, the shorter is there with one. They point to the ships and the storage cylinders and refining chimneys. I don’t know how you know that the shorter guy is married to the pretty but kind of plump, matronly, and pastel-floral-dress brunette white lady, pale with red cheeks even in the shade. I forget the trajectory of that surmise.
Earlier near you, over the aisle, two young men, maybe 18, maybe 24, both with long hair, one with the top also dyed purple, talk loudly to their grandmother, who is too old, and who leans back and looks like a zombie with her eyes streaming out of her head and her lips always a little parted in her too-wrinkled face. One of them has a girlfriend in England and they both have to shout that it is not a good time to get married: people keep getting sick and states keep limiting the number of people who can gather. There’s actually a pretty-dress wedding reception going on in the main dining area of this restaurant, but grandmother is most likely too out of it to know of this. You remember visiting great grandmother outside the house grandfather had grown up in. She was late 90s and couldn’t hear. Your mother wrote simple sentences on a chalk board and the old woman in the chair moved out into the afternoon backyard nodded. There was your name. And your sister’s. And your brother’s. You remember [separate occasion] your mother quoting one of her grandfather’s (you don’t recall which), saying of old age: “the alternative is worse”.